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GSLP/Liberals vow to ‘break the back’ of housing list

Cristina Cavilla

The GSLP/Liberal Alliance will “break the back” of the housing waiting list with its plans to tackle Gibraltar’s housing problem, if re-elected to Government next week.

These proposals which include provision for both the construction of affordable housing and, if necessary, additional rental accommodation were set out by GSLP Leader Fabian Picardo and candidate Samantha Sacramento at a press briefing yesterday.

The housing waiting list across the four categories currently stands at less than 1,000 people.

Ms Sacramento said the figure was “remarkable” considering that in 2011 there was more than 1,000 people on the 1RKB list alone.

The Alliance plans to redevelop the site of the old Queen’s Cinema and the Queen’s Hotel to include affordable housing for 50/50 sales and rental housing for pensioners.

The GSLP/Libs policy is to continue to develop rental housing for pensioners as it releases post-war rental housing stock for growing families who cannot afford to buy.

The Alliance housing policy places priority of allocation of affordable housing to those who will give up a Government tenancy and to those on the housing waiting list.

This means that the demand on the waiting list is reduced and more rental homes are left vacant, according to the GSLP/Libs.

With regards to the provision of rental housing, the GSLP/Libs said this is best done for the elderly and its plans currently provide for almost 300 such units.

And, whilst its focus is the provision of 50/50 homes, the party accepts that there is likely to be a need to construct more government rental stock generally.

Ms Sacramento said: “We have been very ambitious in our housing plans, and the construction of affordable housing has made all the difference.”

“I am confident that our plans will break the back of the housing waiting list and solve the housing problem. If we don’t, then we have also given a cast iron commitment in our manifesto to further build for rental housing.”

“We are unequivocal in this commitment, if the need is there, we will do it.”

Mr Picardo said: “As a party we have an unprecedented track record when in Government and our investment in housing is an important part of how we are building his community.”

“This is the Government who puts our people first. To us everyone matters. Housing matters to you so housing matters to us. That is why we will build 500 more rental homes – not just for pensioners, also for general rental.”

“And we will build more affordable homes also. By the end of this term, we will have completely tamed the housing waiting list.”

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